Sally Kohn’s talk, the “clean” version

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Sally Kohn had a point to make in her TED Talk. During her career as a progressive lesbian talking head at Fox News, she’d get letters from people who really, really didn’t like what she said, or objected to her very existence. To make this attitude crystal-clear, onstage at TED@NYC Kohn read out the kind of letter she received during the course of a typical day. The hate-filled letter contained one of the last really untouchable curse words. Point made.

We wanted to make sure that Kohn’s message was heard with its full force. But as we’ve encountered in the past with other talks containing strong language or graphic imagery, not all TEDsters were equally happy with this choice. So at the request of several fans, we’ve created a “clean” edit of the talk. If you’d like to share Kohn’s message of tolerance and emotional correctness with an audience that might be sensitive to profanity, please use this version:

Other talks where the language or images have proven to be a hot topic include Rose George: Let’s talk crap. Seriously. (George herself uses a stronger word); Peter Singer: The why and how of effective altruism (which opens with a violent image that prompted us to put a note in the talk description); and Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story (containing a joke that’s quite deliberately in questionable taste).

Cases like these always provoke the question: Preserve the speaker’s original form or edit to reach more viewers? We’re hoping we’ve accomplished the best of both by providing an alternate version. Let us know what you think in this TED Conversation »

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